Coach Bo Perasol left no doubt that the miracle Powerade Tigers he handled in 2012 had the making of becoming a contender if the team was given a chance to stay for the long haul.
“Definitely,” Perasol said during Thursday’s episode of Coaches Unfiltered.
Perasol and the Tigers authored one of the PBA’s Cinderella stories when the eighth-seeded team made it all the way to the Philippine Cup Finals starting with the stunning upset of Tim Cone’s top-ranked B-Meg Llamados in the quarterfinals.
Powerade, fueled by Gary David’s hot hands, promising rookies Marcio Lassiter and Jvee Casio, hardworking Sean Anthony and Doug Kramer, settled for a runnerup trophy after losing to Talk ’N Text in five games before management decided to take drastic actions.
Lassiter was traded prior to the start of the Commissioner’s Cup to Petron Blaze (now San Miguel Beer) before Powerade sent Kramer to Barako Bull.
The Tigers missed out on a playoff berth over the next two conferences before Coca-Cola sold the franchise to GlobalPort.
“Just imagine Jvee, you still have Marcio there, and you still have Gary in his prime, and Sean (Anthony). And if you have two seasons with imports, you can always recruit a big man as an import,” said Perasol.
In fact, Perasol already has visions of seeing Lassiter and Casio emerge as the team’s main men. But the trade and the sale of the franchise resulted in different directions.
Lassiter already has eight championships as a key member of the star-studded Beermen squad while Casio continues to play for Alaska since being traded there after his rookie campaign, winning his first and still only title in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Those guys, most especially si Marcio and si Jvee, they were supposed to be the future of that franchise. Pero it did not happen e,” lamented Perasol.
“I really thought that that would've been a franchise that could have matched up with the big-time franchises also,” the current University of the Philippines mentor added.